What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are injuries to the brain that can affect an individual on a physical, emotional, psychological, and cognitive level. Sometimes they do not have noticeable physical symptoms, leaving many injuries undiagnosed, resulting in prolonged suffering for victims. The long-term effects of a TBI can also prevent a victim from working or force him or her to perform lower-paying work than he or she could perform previously because of his or her reduced capabilities following the injury. If you are facing lost wages, high medical bills, and other expenses following an accident that caused you to suffer a TBI, consider seeking compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Studies are continuing to uncover the long-term effects of TBIs on child and adult victims. One study in particular from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center discussed what parents can expect from their children 10 years following their injuries. Adult TBI sufferers face different long-term effects than child victims.Long-Term Effects of TBIs in Children
A TBI can delay a child’s developmental growth. For example, a toddler or young child who suffers a TBI may take longer to develop fine and gross motor skills than other children. Children can also experience delays in the following areas:
- Nonverbal functioning;
- Attention span; and
- Language skills.
Children who suffer from TBIs can also experience the psychological effects that adults often face following a TBI, which can lead to social isolation. For a child, reestablishing friendships and resuming academic and extracurricular activities following a TBI can be difficult. In children, developmental delays can sometimes appear years after the initial injury due to children “growing into” their impairments.Long-Term Effects of TBIs in Adults
In adults, the following complications can occur six months or later following a traumatic brain injury:
- Cognitive deficits;
- Progressive dementia;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Hypopituitarism; and
- Post-concussive symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and noise and light sensitivity.
An adult suffering from the long-term effects of a TBI can suffer from social isolation, which can create new difficulties like anxiety and difficulty securing employment and remaining employed. Issues like depression and social isolation following a TBI can put a victim at an increased risk of suicide.Caring for an Individual With a TBI
In the study published by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the researchers discuss the impact that a child’s parenting and home environment have on his or her recovery from a TBI. The stability and consistency of a child’s home environment was found to have a larger impact on whether the child experienced long-term TBI effects than the severity of the injury. In other words, children suffering from severe TBIs who lived in ideal conditions tended to experience fewer difficulties associated with the injury than children with mild TBIs who lived in more chaotic households.
For a caregiver, creating a structured environment is an essential part of helping a TBI victim recover regardless of the victim’s age. An adult TBI patient will likely need help managing his or her day-to-day responsibilities like grocery shopping, housework, and scheduling doctor appointments. A child victim may need to take time off school and slowly be reintroduced to schoolwork appropriate for his or her grade level. It is important for caregivers to create structured routines that do not overload the patient with responsibilities, but instead allows him or her to recover without having to devote much mental energy to determining when or how to complete daily tasks. Caregivers should be in frequent contact with the patient’s doctor and alert him or her or any changes to the patient’s condition.Work with an Experienced California Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered from a traumatic brain injury or any other type of injury in an accident due to another party’s negligence, including negligence on the part of a physician or another healthcare provider, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team at Corsiglia, McMahon, & Allard, L.L.P. to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced San Jose personal injury lawyer at our firm. Do not wait to start working with us – be proactive and learn more about your condition, your damages, and your rights by speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.